The Dunwoody Green Market is returning to its roots.
The Market Board of Directors voted last Wednesday to relocate to the Spruill Gallery at the corner of Ashford Dunwoody Road and Meadow Lane. The date when the move will take effect has not been determined.
The market’s last scheduled day in its current location at the Dunwoody Village Post Office parking lot is July 11. Vendors are being forced to move because the financially troubled federal agency is closing the Shallowford Road postal facility. The Dunwoody Village Post Office needs the space where the market operates from mid-April to mid-November for parking for employees who have been working at the Shallowford building.
“We are definitely going back to The Spruill farm house,” said Market President Paula Guilbeau after the Board meeting. “I don't have the date yet. I think this is our best alternative. It gives us a familiar 'home place' to grow in. I know this will be a positive move for the market!”
The market was originally located at the Spruill Gallery, operating there from 2006 through 2008. Construction plans, which were later dropped, forced the market to open the 2009 season at Saint Patrick’s Church on North Peachtree Road. Vendors only stayed there for a few weeks before moving to the Post Office parking lot in Dunwoody Village.
The Market’s decision to return to the Spruill Gallery thrilled Bob Kinsey, executive director for the Spruill Center for the Arts. Kinsey and Guilbeau discussed this possibility several weeks ago. He said he told her then that the vendors would be more than welcome to return to the Spruill Gallery.
“We would dearly love to have them back,” he said last week. ”The recognition of the Green Market among our patrons remains high,” he said. “Some visitors still ask about them.”
Kinsey also thinks the location will help bring the vendors’ business. This is a high traffic and visibility area, he said. The market will be able to have signage on Ashford Dunwoody Road, he pointed out. Ashford Dunwoody is one of the main thoroughfares through Dunwoody.
“We are delighted to be welcomed back by Mr. Kinsey and his staff,” said Guilbeau. “I am planning to meet with him next week.”
Still to be worked out is a business permit process. This hasn’t been necessary at the Post Office location because that is federal property and not subject to city business permit requirements.
“I was told by City Manager Warren Hutmacher that only a routine administrative permit would be needed for the Spruill Gallery site,” said Guilbeau. “I plan to contact Community Development Director Steve Dush (this) week to obtain more information about moving forward. Hopefully, I’ll find out more detailed information about other permits then,” Guilbeau added. “But, I don’t expect a lengthy process” she concluded.
The market looked into several other sites in its search for a new home.
When the market was first informed by the Post Office shortly after opening the 2012 season that it would have to relocate, the city extended a friendly hand. The city and the market discussed several possible sites on city property. Those included Brook Run Park and the ball fields on the Nature Center property.
Those possibilities ran into several problems, though, including a complaint from Bob Lundsten, Chief of Staff to DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer, that it is not the role of the city to help for-profit private enterprises find a location to do business.
The Market also looked into the possibility of shifting from the Post Office parking lot, which is owned by the federal government and is adjacent to Dunwoody Village, to the Dunwoody Village parking lot. However, language in the contract between Fresh Market and Regency Centers, which owns and manages the shopping center property, ruled that move out, according to Lori Ellis, Regency’s property administrator for Dunwoody Village.
The contract prohibits businesses that sell products that would conflict with what Fresh Market sells from locating in Dunwoody Village, Ellis said.
In other gardening news …
Pattie Baker, a well-known sustainability advocate, writer, and gardener who helped start several Dunwoody community gardens and the city’s Sustainability Commission, has joined Farmer D Organics as Global Gardening Ambassador.
In this role, she will be responsible for re-launching the Farmer D Organics store in Peachtree Corners, extending the social media outreach of the Farmer D Organics brand and increasing the impact of the company's website. Darron “Farmer D” Joffe, owner of Farmer D Organics, is considering using the store as a national franchise model, according to Baker.
Baker has begun work in her new capacity and will be in-store starting August 13. The store is located at the corner of Holcolmb Bridge Road and Spalding Drive.
It is stocked with planting mix, custom-blended organic fertilizer, and a limited selection of other products.
Contact Pattie at email@example.com to have a voice in the store's transformation or to schedule site surveys for a home, school, community or faith-based garden. Gardeners can follow the progress of the new venture and connect via social media on Facebook at Farmer D Organics.
The Dunwoody Community Garden is locked in a tight race to be one of four winning gardens in the second round of the Edy’s Fruit Bars Communities Take Root contest.
Edy’s will award fruit orchards to 17 winning gardens across the country.
The Bridger Community Garden in Bridger, South Dakota, is in first place and appears to have a safe lead.
Dunwoody's Community Garden and three others have been within just hundreds of votes of each other. The other gardens are Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, Fondy Food Center in Port Washington, Wisconsin and St. Ambrose Parish in Brunswick, Ohio. The four gardens with the most votes on June 30 will be named second round winners. The fifth place finisher will move into first place in the third round of voting in July.
Four more winners will be named on July 31 and the final four winners will be announced on August 31.
To support the garden, visit their website and follow the prompts to vote. A voting shortcut is to go to the Leaders tab on the main page. You can access the Dunwoody garden voting site from this tab.
Remember, you can vote once-a-day on each of your email accounts.